Anyone keeping up on latest cougar stuff?

scottokla(7)August 3, 2011

The young Tulsa female was likely from the Black Hills based on DNA tests, which is not surprising since they couldn't find anything indicating it was a pet based on the physical exam. Based on its behavior and broken foot I would not be surprised if it got to the Tulsa area via a trapper, but there is also a good chance it roamed here.

The one killed by a car in Connecticut was also from the Black Hills area based on DNA tests. That makes three known Black Hills cats that recently traveled at least 700 miles to get killed somewhere far from "home". The Black Hills area is full and now North Dakota and Nebraska are established breeding territories with dispersers showing up regularly in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri. We aren't really seeing a lot of dispersers yet but we have had a few and I bet we get a couple of dead cats on roadways or a few more trail cam pics this year.

I just read today about a trail cam picture of a lion near Keystone and there is some interesting info about our NE bear population starting to come out - likely effected by the drought.

Lots of interesting stuff going on.

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wifey2mikey(7a Tulsa, OK)

I hadn't heard anything about the DNA tests so thanks for sharing.

I'm curious about the bobcat that was photographed near an apartment complex and neighborhood in south Tulsa last week... any information on that?

~Laura

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 11:58AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Scott,

I had read about the one in Connecticut last week. Other than that, I haven't kept up much, othern than knowing they didn't think the Tulsa one was an escaped pet. I hadn't heard it likely was from the Black Hills.

I have been following the bear news in Texas, where they are coming out of the wild and into some towns in western parts of the state to raid dumpsters and bird feeders and such.

We are feeding and watering a lot of deer here and I just this week moved their feeding area about 50 yards further away from the house than it already was because coyotes are showing up. I didn't want coyotes too close to the house and our domestic pets.

Overall, I am seeing less and less wildlife every week even though we are maintaining several watering areas and 3 feeding areas to try to help them stay alive.

We do, however, have the biggest possum I've ever seen. It is as big as the largest raccoon I've ever seen, and I've seen some really big raccoons.

I'm having trouble with hawks swooping down into the yard trying to get our chickens and kittens. Can't do anything about the hawks, so I'm just trying to keep the chickens put up in the chicken run (it has a fencing top over it to keep the hawks out), which ruins the chickens' grasshopper chasing and eating, and have moved all the kittens into the guest room, where they mostly are hiding in the closet.

If any predator larger than a coyote is roaming our property, I don't want to know about it.

I am worried about feral pigs. They have been an issue in the river bottom lands for years, and some years have been a problem for ranchers out west. They've only been on our property once---during the drought of 2005-2006, and I believe they were here in July-August '06 mostly wallowing in a deep hole that still had water in our creek after the running part of the creek went dry. I'm thinking that since the creek, including the deep hole, is long dry this year, maybe they'll stay away.

Dawn

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 1:07PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

We have a cougar population west of Austin. I heard one growl in the gorge behind my house. It made the hair on my arms stand up and I did a check list of all the things that it was not. It was like that noise I heard at the zoo in the large cat house, no doubt about it. My girlfriend ran into one walking her dog down by the Pedernales river. We have had lion kill on all sides of me. It is an occassional thing but their range is huge. The deer disspear when they come by.

I was talking to a biologist three years ago and he says that the only comfirmed population is the one in the Big Bend area. Everything else is officially "urban legend", that does not mean they are not here. The thing is that officially the BIG BEND is the only place where they are "officially" looking for them and tracking cats. They have had the biologist filming them crossing the road at SW parkway in Austin but he was a plant guy. What does he know. We have eyewitness accounts all over. It is not a huge population by any stretch of the imagination, but there are roamers and some consistent reports of footprints in mud and dead animals with their throats ripped out.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 3:17PM
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scottokla(7)

South Texas has a population in addition to the Big bend one. The Big Bend population took a huge hit from trapping and has not expanded for a while. I don't know about the South Texas population.

The only way to tell for sure if you have a resident population is if you get routine road kills and trail camera pictures. Texas recently had a web-site map showing confirmations (and they were once widespread but not much in last 5 years) outside their range but I don't know if it is up-to-date.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 3:37PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

All I know when I heard that roar, there were no deer for 2 months and we have GOBS of deer.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 11:14PM
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